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Vietnam seeks WHO assistance for strengthening primary healthcare systems

Vietnam hopes for World Health Organization (WHO) assistance in restructuring and strengthening the preventive and primary healthcare systems, focusing on early and remote disease prevention and control.

Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà emphasised this during a meeting with Dr Saia Ma’u Piukala, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, at the Government Headquarters on Monday.

During their discussions, the Deputy PM underscored the high regard Vietnam holds for the WHO’s pivotal role in orchestrating global healthcare and public health initiatives.

Vietnam has benefited from the companionship, guidance, and support of WHO officials and experts across all realms of healthcare policy and services.

This collaboration was particularly evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, during which Vietnam received prompt, effective assistance from the WHO in navigating and overcoming the crisis.

As one of the 15 countries chosen by the WHO for mRNA vaccine technology transfer, Vietnam seeks practical aid to bolster its research and production capabilities not only for emerging infectious diseases but also for those with resurging threats like measles and tuberculosis.

Additionally, Vietnam aims to diversify its healthcare offerings to meet the evolving needs of its populace.

Deputy PM also emphasised that the quality of the living environment is closely linked to health, and health security is a non-traditional security issue. Healthcare policies and health protection need to be associated with environmental issues.

Addressing concerns over drug, vaccine, and medical product production, procurement, and distribution, the Deputy PM urged the WHO to deploy experts to aid Vietnam in refining procurement mechanisms, ensuring a stable, sustainable supply chain.

Regarding electronic cigarettes, he tasked the Ministry of Science and Technology with collaborating with the Ministry of Health to assess their health impact, particularly on adolescents, and to align strategies with WHO directives.

Dr Saia Ma’u Piukala expressed gratitude for the fruitful discussions and emphasised the critical role of primary healthcare as the frontline for addressing basic health needs.

He outlined priority areas for enhancing Vietnam’s healthcare sector, especially in preventive healthcare, to better respond to future pandemics, improve environmental conditions, promote healthy lifestyles, ensure health security and manage electronic cigarettes.

Dr Piukala affirmed that stronger public health corresponds with more sustainable socio-economic development. He pledged continued collaboration with Vietnam to advance healthcare and contribute to the region’s and the world’s sustainable development goals. Vietnam News

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